PIACENZA – Day One

DSCN4558I booked myself a lovely apartment at the Duomo Guest House, right in the middle of the Historical Center of Piacenza.  DSCN4898DSCN4557The apartment was spacious, clean, and quiet, except for hearing neighbors yelling in the building next door (mostly in the early evening hours).  It was also perfectly located, right off of the main shopping street, Via XX Settembre.DSCN4563DSCN4560Because I was so close to it, I decided to check out Piazza Duomo.  Looking at the map which I had been given, I thought that this would be a good place to begin orientating myself with this city.  DSCN4561DSCN4569The Duomo of Piacenza, or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Giustina,  was built between 1122 and 1233.  DSCN4570DSCN4571DSCN4572DSCN4578At the time of my visit, there was a special exhibit in the Duomo, focusing on the frescoes in the dome painted by the artist Guercino.  This was an amazing experience, as one was able to climb to the base of the dome, and see the frescoes close-up, after which you were able to explore the rest of the beautiful church.  DSCN4729DSCN4739DSCN4742DSCN4584Smack in the center of the piazza is a monument to the Virgin, which dates back to 1862.DSCN4594DSCN4596DSCN4598DSCN4599DSCN4605DSCN4611DSCN4612If you walk straight down Via XX Settembre, you will find yourself in Piacenza’s Piazza Cavalli – the city’s main piazza.  Everyone passes through here at one point of the day.  It was named this because of two Equestrian statues that adorn it – one of Ranuccio Farnese, and the other of Alessandro Farnese.  These were made by the artist Francesco Mochi.DSCN4621DSCN4644DSCN4627DSCN4629DSCN4635DSCN4639DSCN4643DSCN4645DSCN4646DSCN4649DSCN4652DSCN4650.JPGDSCN4677DSCN4690DSCN4694DSCN4659DSCN4667DSCN4680DSCN4696DSCN4697DSCN4700DSCN4703DSCN4704DSCN4706Palazzo Costa, on nearby Via Roma, is the home of the Fondazione Horak, and the Museo Ambientale.  Unfortunately, it was closed to visitors while I was in town.  DSCN4709Another wonderful building is Palazzo Anguissola da Grazzano, which houses a sculpture museum.  I didn’t know it at the time, and so did not even attempt to visit it.  But, I was enthralled with the building.  DSCN4712DSCN4715DSCN4716DSCN4720DSCN4751DSCN4752DSCN4766Piacenza is full of beautiful Palazzos — each with a lovely courtyard, and gates that are simply breathtaking.  I couldn’t resist trying to look into as many as I could, as I made my way along the streets of the city.DSCN4768DSCN4785DSCN4790DSCN4792DSCN4797DSCN4801DSCN4803DSCN4824DSCN4831DSCN4832DSCN4842DSCN4844DSCN4846DSCN4885DSCN4747

Next up: more from Piacenza, including Palazzo Farnese, and a visit to the Civic Museums!

 

Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.

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